Srinagar : The farmers, inhabiting in the world famous ‘Dal Lake’, associated with Lotus Stem (Nadru) got a new lease of life with the Jammu and Kashmir government extending them value addition and handholding services in selling their produce in the international market.
The newly formed and promoted Farmer Producer Organization (FPO), comprising 250 farmers from Dal interiors, has recently exported two consignments to UAE thus making their presence felt in the international market.
The initiative of forming this FPO is in line with government’s commitment towards empowering the farmers to sell and promote their produce in potential national and international markets.
This significant program of the J&K government has recently been mentioned in Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s, monthly radio address to nation ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
Addressing the nation in the 99th episode of his Mann Ki Baat programme, Prime Minister spoke about Kashmir’s Dal Lake which is known for its delicious Lotus stems. “Lotus stems are known as Nadru in Kashmir and demand for Nadru is continuously increasing due to which farmers cultivating Nadru in Dal Lake have formed an FPO with the support of Srinagar district administration”, he added.
Prime Minister took pride in the fact that these farmers recently sent two consignments to UAE saying that this success has increased the income of hundreds of farmers.
The Kashmiri Lotus stem famously known as Nadru prepared from roots of the lotus flower is a delicacy found on the table of every Kashmiri home. The lotus stem is being cultivated in various lakes of Kashmir valley, the major being Dal Lake of Srinagar.
The farmers in the area of Dal Lake often complained that the price they got for the harvest was not enough due to the lack of market linkages for their produce and meagre individual produce of the farmers.
Considering the uniqueness of Nadroo (Lotus Stem) as a delicacy, the district administration Srinagar met the entrepreneurial farmers and after preparing a blueprint approved the FPO in December 2022. The FPO is being supported by NABARD under the ‘Central Sector Scheme of formation of FPOs’.
The FPO has been registered as ‘Dal Lake Lotus Stem Farmers Producer Company Ltd’ under Companies Act. Within a short span of time, the FPO has mobilized a total number of 250 shareholders in the Dal lake area of Hazratbal. The FPO has also registered a company owned registered brand of Nadru involving marketing of hygienically procured and top graded Nadru (Lotus stem).
The FPO having its office in Hazratbal area of Srinagar district is also in the process of expanding its business in the value addition/primary/ secondary processing by establishing value addition units of Nadru in the area.
With support of the department of Agriculture Kashmir, the FPO has recently been able to export two consignments of Nadru to UAE fetching a very high price to the producers, an official said.
The official added that the FPO scheme is an institutional mechanism to reduce cost of production, increase per unit production and facilitate better market linkage so as to enhance the income of farmers.
He said that in the coming days, the FPOs like that of ‘Dal Lake Lotus Stem Farmers Producer Company Ltd’ will be promoted in the district to provide better backward and forward integration in the marketing of agriculture and horticulture produce.(GNS)